Support Learners News

Supporting Learners News

Welcome to the Supporting Learners Newsletter from unionlearn. This electronic publication has been produced to keep you up to date with news, developments and resources that will help support learners in the workplace.

The union learning Climbing Frame

The union learning Climbing Frame is the website for ULRs, and others that work with learners, to support them in their role. 

If you haven't already registered on the Climbing Frame visit:

You can download the free Climbing Frame app from Google Play or the Apple Store.


The Apprenticeships Toolkit is for union officers, union representatives and union learning reps who are negotiating with employers on apprenticeships or who are approaching an employer to discuss the possibility of taking on apprentices.

The factsheets provide concise information on a range of topics related to apprenticeships. They also highlight the key elements of a good quality apprenticeship. For more information and to order a copy of the toolkit

The new Apprenticeship Levy will begin in April 2017, employers with a wage bill of over £3m will have to contribute. Take a look at unionlearn's frequently asked questions page to find out more about how the levy will work:

Maths Workout

Unionlearn is launching an exciting new maths campaign later this week - Maths Workout - aimed at supporting learners in workplaces to develop maths skills for both personal and work life. The Maths Workout campaign will raise awareness and promote maths learning opportunities, encouraging unions and Union Learning Reps to make use of unionlearn’s Use-It initial assessment tools and Working with Figures eNote in the build up to a Maths Learning Week, starting Monday 10th October.

Unionlearn will also be promoting Citizen Maths and the National Numeracy Challenge as ways to improve people’s confidence and skills when working with numbers.

Kirsi Kekki, unionlearn policy officer said:

‘Unionlearn wants to create a bit of buzz about maths this autumn by inviting people to check their maths fitness levels with the Use-It assessment.

Maths is everywhere, whether at work, home, college or enjoying leisure time. Just like our bodies need a bit of exercise, our brains deserve a bit of maths exercise too. Use-It provides an opportunity to do this through a website and without any time pressure.’

Keep in touch with the campaign via  and on social media too #ULMathsWorkout

And enter the Maths Workout Photo Competition for a chance to win a Tablet – get snapping and see how to take part at

NEC working in partnership with Unionlearn

NEC has been delivering flexible distance learning courses for more than 50 years and is proud to have a long standing history of working closely with Unionlearn.

And from the NEC through the partnership: "In 2016, their 10th anniversary, we are delighted to offer free self-study taster courses exclusively to union members. If you want to learn something new, or perhaps want to see if distance learning is for you, you can find them on our dedicated unionlearn website.

There’s a range of subjects to choose from, including critical thinking, children’s growth and development and climate change. If you like what you see and want to enrol on a full course, don’t forget to ask for your 10% discount as a union member."

Union Learning Fund Prosptecus

The prospectus for the 2017/18 round of Union Learning Fund (ULF) is available now a

The ULF was established in 1998 to promote activity by trade unions in support of the objective of creating a learning society. Its primary aim was to develop the capacity of trade unions and Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) to work with employers, employees and learning providers to encourage greater take up of learning in the workplace. The scope of the ULF has gradually broadened over the last 15 years as union capacity has grown and government strategic objectives have changed and unions have been encouraged to work on improving access to work and to work in the community.


eNotes are a great resource to help union reps keep up to date on key workplace issues. Each eNote is a self-contained module that contains a mixture of text, video and quizzes. They last between 20 and 45 minutes and can be returned to as many times as you like. Register to use eNotes at

New eNotes are being added all the time, eNotes on Mental Health and Working with Figures will be available soon.

The Working with Figures eNote will help reps feel more confident about using basic calculations for union work. Learners can work-out everyday calculations and answer simple maths questions using the on-screen calculator.

By the end of the eNote learners will be able to:

  • use a calculator to add up, subtract, multiply and divide

  • describe the logic of basic calculations within familiar contexts

  • calculate a basic ratio, average, fraction and percentage

  • know where to go for further practice and to develop numeracy skills

Regional Learning and Skills events:

TUC Education's Union Reps Stage 1

This is the essential course for workplace union reps and stewards. Find out what it means to be a union rep, how to represent your members effectively and how to take up both collective and individual issues with your employer


We especially would like people to take up an initial assessment with Use-It. Use-IT is a tool created by unionlearn for the use of unions to help deliver learning in the workplace. This tool contains ten learning themes designed to help engage with learners, providing both an initial assessment and a way to encourage further learning. These ten topics are: English, Maths, ICT, Green Skills, Equalities, Diet, Alcohol, Safeguarding, Resilience and Food Hygiene. To access the Use-It tool, please click on (when registering please tick box that says "Are you undertaking this learning activity in association with unionlearn/TUC Education?").

If you need any further help or advice please contact or telephone 020 7467 1284.

Rob Hancock
Regional Education Officer
Southern & Eastern Region TUC Education Service
Tel: 020 7467 1369